The R230 was designed specifically for the rider who wants a do-all, multi-use road frame. The oversized downtube offers exceptional stiffness along with confident handling. The semi-compact geometry provides plenty of stand-over height and a rider position suitable for all day rides or competitive events. By curving and ovalizing the seat stays, an added level of rider comfort has been designed into this frame without sacrificing performance.
Weaknesses: Ti can be pricey (but ultimately is worth it)
When my 18 year old Merlin road bike (with an unreplacable bottom bracket) finally was retired to pasture last spring, I re-entered the bike market. It was a fun, but disorienting, experience with so many choices, claims, counter-claims and outright gimmickry. Overwhelmed by it all, I rebooted my search- starting with a list of my requirements.
The bike would need to be corrosion proof (I live in damp and muggy Hong Kong) and bullet-proof as I wanted the frame to last me a good 15 years. The bike would need to be fast but also look fast, standing still. Most of all, it would need to fit like a glove. I've always been better suited to relaxed geometry frames and at age 52 ride comfort had become even more important to me.
I was agnostic about the frame material and ubiquitous aluminium and carbon fibre frames were the two obvious candidates. I very nearly purchased a carbon fibre frame, but looking over my list one more time, I realized there was no way I could be certain this frame could go the distance.
By default, Ti quickly rose to the top of my list as frame of choice. Interestingly, very few shops in Hong Kong sell Ti frames. That's another story about the realities of the cycling business. I showed my list to a reputable dealer in Hong Kong. Without hesitation they said, "You need to look at Lynskey." They don't actually carry Lynskey which gave their recommendation even more weight.
But even after I zeroed in on Lynskey, I still had to wade through their different models. The R230 ticked every box on my list but was a bit beyond my financial grasp. By a stroke of fortune, a one year old frame was posted in "The Loft"- Lnyskey's demo, closeout and refurbished frame department. At that price, I was able to upgrade to the Enve fork, a choice I would seriously urge upon anyone else looking to buy.
I've been riding the bike for six months and finally feel like I can adequately review the bike and ride. It has taken that long to dial-in the fit, with multiple tweaks needed on seat and stem to optimize ride position. But even from the first ride, I knew this was a whole new experience. "Assured" is the best word that describes my initial experience on the R230. Ti technology has come a long way since I brought the Merlin in 1994.
I have come to appreciate the two most obvious features of the R230- the ovalized downtube and the curved seat stays. The frame is compliant but plenty stiff and I can't imagine wanting or needing one of the stiffer Pro series frames. Handling is brilliant, but again, equal credit goes to the Enve fork.
I am completely satisfied with my choice and would highly recommend the R230. Obviously, the ride and over-all experience are pretty subjective. But if your own list of "must-haves" looks anything like mine, then the R230 should definitely be a contender.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: October 10, 2012
Strengths: This is my perfect bike. It's light, comfortable and looks great. And so long as I put in an effort, it's fast. I love the way it soaks up the bumps and vibrations, but is still rigid when under power. And it descends like it's on rails. IT's so much more comfortable than my carbon fibre bike and the handling is slower, as opposed to twitchy, but a lot more certain. And as a bonus, I don't have to worry about scratches, dings and sun damage to the paintwork.
Weaknesses: None that I can think of after 2 years, with the possible exception of people wanting to ask me questions about the bike.
It's a great all round bike, for coast rides, hills or sprints. It looks great and it will never go out of fashion.
Bike Setup: SRAM Red gearset, Chris King headset, 3T bars, stem and seatpost, SRAM S40 wheels.
Date Reviewed: May 29, 2012
Strengths: This was my fourth bike bought as an adult, and I finally found the perfect combination. I bought the frameset and then built it up as a triathlon bike, since I wanted a not very aggressive setup. And I wanted it built for comfort! The small stock frame was the perfect geometry for me, even though I'd gone in to get measured for a custom built one. And after feeling very nervous on my previous carbon tri bike, I feel like I could bomb through any pothole without fear of a "catastrophic failure" of the carbon. It is not particularly aerodynamic, compared to many tri bikes, but it is light. And it was such a good fit, I bought another Lynskey to build up as a road bike! And just being able to take it anywhere and wipe off the damage! Plus the cool factor of saying "it's titanium!" Love it! Last thing- the extra money spent on the Lynskey titanium seat post is well spent- the best one I've ever seen and super easy to dial the perfect setup in!
Weaknesses: The Lynskey stickers scratch and come off very easily and then can look a little scruffy.
I'd like to save up for a mountain bike, and then maybe a commuter, so I'd have the full garage full of Lynskeys! That may take a while. And I love the community of people who know what a Lynskey is. There should be a secret handshake! Though the nod of approval works pretty good too!
not common like most of the carbon frames seen on group rides
Very comfortable riding frame with excellent handling and descending characteristics. Actually lighter and more comfortable then my previous Moots at 17 lbs in a large with pedals and cages. Not quite as quick on the climbs or hammering the flats as my custom Strong steel frame. If I had it to do over again I might order a R330 to better suit my riding style.
Excellent customer service and follow up from Don Erwin at Lynskey.
Strengths: Relatively lightweight
Relatively inexpensive compared to other Ti brands
Stiff yet compliant
Fit & finish
Weaknesses: Decals don't hold up but who cares.
This review is for a frame, fork and headset I purchased directly from Lynskey when they were offering a promo on the frameset. Part of the value of a product is the intangible customer service you receive. In my experience, the team at Lynskey is equally focused on the customer experience and producing quality bicycles.
Tangibly, the frameset I received is terrific. Someone even took the time to wipe down the frame prior to packing as there were no fingerprints to be seen. That's not important but a nice touch all the same. More importantly, the frame was completely prep'd for the build and everything went together perfectly. Fit and finish is far better than most off the rack brands.
Extended climbing and long distance riding are where this bike excels. I was looking for a compromise in ride qualities between a performance steel touring frame and a stiff carbon race frame. In my experience with carbon frames, I am good for 50 fast miles but much more than that, the pain and fatigue make the ride unpleasant. On a steel frame I can travel much farther (100+ miles) with less pain/fatigue. However, the trade off for comfort is inefficiency. Climbing efficiency is degraded the most on a steel frame in my experience.
For me, the R230 has those in between qualities of steel and carbon that I prize for the long distance and mountainous riding I like to do. I've logged about 4000 miles on my Lynskey in a year with many back to back 100+ mile days in the mountains of Colorado, Arizona and Utah. Intentional or not on the part of Lynskey, I feel the R230 is purpose built for just this sort of terrain. This bike will be with me for a long time.